ECMN Announces $150,000 in Grants for Justice
Shortly after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church offered ECMN a $150,000 Rapid Response Gift. These funds were meant to support our work and that of our neighbors as we seek to dismantle the systemic racism in our country, in our state, in our city, and within the church.
While the needs of our community were starkly apparent at the time, it felt important to me as a new bishop to be advised by those in ECMN who have been working for years for racial reconciliation when considering how to spend those funds.
Shortly after my consecration, I formed a task force including the following folks to help in this discernment:
- The Rev. Devon Anderson, Trinity, Excelsior (Standing Committee and Executive Council)
- Neala Anderson, St. Mark's, Minneapolis
- Linda Finney, Holy Trinity, St. Paul
- The Rev. Morris Goodwin, Sts. Luke and James, Minneapolis (Trustees)
- Heidi Kim, Trinity, Excelsior and Breck School
- The Rev. Robert Two Bulls, All Saints, Minneapolis, Missioner for the Department of Indian Work and Multicultural Ministries, ECMN
- The Rev. Jered Weber-Johnson, St. John the Evangelist, St. Paul (ECMN Council)
This group of faithful of folks has been gathering, praying, and discerning throughout this summer, and has come to consensus about how to utilize these funds in holy and creative ways.
An important priority that emerged during this discernment was that we use these funds to seed as much change on as many levels as possible. This is why the funds are being used to support existing ministries and community partners as well as to fund deep structural and systemic change within ECMN.
The task force has discerned that the funds will be used in the following ways:
$65,000 to Twin Cities Stand Together (TCST)
As we announced yesterday, TCST are our emerging partners for the property at Gethsemane in downtown Minneapolis. TCST is a grassroots network founded by many of the leaders and organizers at the George Floyd memorial, and they will be creating a community center and hub of organizing for the work of dismantling racism in leased space at the Gethsemane building.
$30,000 to start a new faith community at Gethsemane in downtown Minneapolis
This faith community will be oriented primarily around the spiritual practices of anti-racism, and will serve as a guide and resource for the whole diocese as we engage this work.
$30,000 for Circle of the Beloved
Circle of the Beloved is our young adult community oriented around and committed to the work of racial healing and building the beloved community in North Minneapolis.
$25,000 for our internal work of implementing a common anti-racism curriculum across the diocese
These funds will be used to create curriculum and provide coaching and consulting for congregations and cohort groups; to commission liturgical resources that can be shared with the whole church; and to create a public art component of our anti-racism work.
The Executive Council is made up of elected leaders from across the Episcopal Church, who oversee the budget for the whole church between General Conventions. Their gift was a way of assuring us that the entire Episcopal Church is with us in this time of great challenge. It's a wonderful reminder that as Christians, we are never alone.
As we continue on this journey towards justice, using all the resources at our disposal, I am thankful for the generations who have walked this road before us, and thankful for the privilege of being able to walk this leg of the journey with you.
Grace and Peace,
The Right Reverend Craig Loya
Episcopal Church in Minnesota